Champion sprinter Chautauqua will contest a jumpout at Flemington on Monday that could determine the future of his racing career.
The six-time Group 1 winner shocked the racing community earlier this year after he refused to jump out of the barriers four times in a row at the trials.
Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes told Racing.com that Chautauqua was impressing the stable with the work he has done since returning from a spell in May.
“He’s feeling pretty good and he looks a million dollars,” Hawkes said.
“But he’s got to jump out of the gates.
“At the moment he’s got an embargo and cannot race.”
Hawkes also said the seven-year-old has “done everything spot on” in the gates in his early training.
In his lead up to the Autumn Carnival, ‘The Grey Flash’ refused to jump from the barriers in jumpouts twice at Randwick on the 27th of February and again at Rosehill on the 8th of March.
Racing NSW then placed an embargo on the gelding, banning him from racing until he jumped successfully from the gates in two trials.
The Hawkes team sent him down to Melbourne to participate in an official trial at Cranbourne nine days later in what was one of the most anticipated trials at Cranbourne of all time.
Again, the champion sprinter failed to jump from the barriers with the rest of the field and was sent out to the paddock with a question mark around whether he would ever race again.
This Friday’s Flemington jumpouts are shaping up to be the most highly anticipated set of jumpouts in recent times.
Ultimately, the connections of Chautauqua are aiming to get him a slot in The Everest in October but Hawkes admits there is still a lot of work to be done before then.
“He’s got a few hurdles to jump yet but he’s as good as we can get him,” Hawkes said.
“He is great and I mean that in all seriousness. I wouldn’t change a thing.”
If he can jump successfully on Friday, the Hawkes team are likely to send him back to their Sydney stables to compete in an official trial to have his racing ban lifted.
"At the moment he's got an embargo and cannot race."
Friday = D-Day for Chautauqua. READ: https://t.co/P7py8vxDzN
— Racing.com (@Racing) July 10, 2018